Alexander Rusevich (born in Riga, Latvia) is an artist and a filmmaker, who works with various media including painting, photography, and video. He’s interested in the relationship between images and events, history and religion, between fact and fiction. His feature short film Forget-me-not (2009) has received the 1st prize in Latvia in the 3rd International short film competition of Goethe Institute Crossing Boundaries (Riga, Latvia). In 2011 short film Try On was awarded in the International programme at Zubroffka Film Festival (Bialystok, Poland). He studied photography at Riga College (Latvia) and painting at the Center of Creative Studies (Detroit, USA).
Angelus Novus Novus
Angelus Novus Novus is a video art project about a modern angel of history. The starting point of the project was Paul Klee’s painting Angelus Novus and Theses on the Philosophy of History by W. Benjamin. Benjamin’s philosophic “Angel of History”, who turns his back to the future and confronts the past that lies before him like a heap of rubble, has become an emblem for the commemoration of history as a catastrophe in the darkest hour of the European 20th century.
The prospects are different today than in 1940 when Benjamin wrote his theses, but we are undoubtedly living at a turning point and the world is changing right before our eyes. The 21st century is rich in global challenges such as world hunger and environmental problems, poverty, and social and economic inequality.
What will happen to humankind, how will it transform?
Nowadays we are speaking to our digital assistants, our faces are being recognized by ubiquitous cameras, and many people are scared of the pandemic on one hand, and of digital totalitarian control on another. There is tension in the modern world. Angelus Novus Novus makes history every day, as tomorrow starts the day before. Time is already compressed like a coil spring, and it seems that history is ready to repeat itself again. We need to take lessons of the past more seriously and, relying on past experience, not to overlook the signs and symbols of the history that is happening with us now.